The RCM has been twinned with the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON) since 2012. Between April 2012 and March 2015 we sent 23 of our midwife members as volunteers on 25 placements to Nepal through the Global MidwiferyTwinning Project. In addition, many of our members have visited Nepal and some have a long standing relationship with the country. Therefore, when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and more than 100 associated aftershocks struck Nepal in April 2015, killing more than 9000 people, our members were deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of their friends and colleagues in Nepal and asked the RCM to respond.
Having run a fundraising campaign from May - August 2015 we have been hugely encouraged by the response. Your efforts have raised around £25,000 to help provide access to midwifery care for women and babies in Nepal during the emergency, now and for the future. We have been working with MIDSON to ensure that the monies raised are put to good use.
MIDSON rapidly responded to the earthquake, helping to relieve pressure on Kathmandu’s maternity hospitals and coordinating outreach to the worst affected urban and rural areas. Partnering with other agencies such as UNFPA, UNCIEF and Direct Relief, they got supplies and midwifery expertise to where they were needed. Our funds helped to make this happen and will go on supporting MIDSON’s capacity and activities in the months to come. This is especially important as geologists predict a further earthquake in the future.
I am currently in Nepal (funded by the RCM, not by any monies you raised) conducting monitoring and evaluation of our inputs and helping in MIDSON’s forward planning. Getting around is difficult as there is a tense political situation and associated fuel shortage. However, I hope to see some of the fruits of MIDSON’s recent endeavours with my own eyes and also to meet with many of their local partners and funding agencies to scope out future work. We will have a small workshop next week and I hope to blog again before I leave to give you a flavour of how your money is helping to make a difference here and to share some photos.
Meanwhile, my suitcase has finally arrived, 24 hours after me. It was a casualty of the fuel crisis as they didn't have sufficient fuel to take all the bags on the plane. I’ve enjoyed a warm welcome from MIDSON and am so grateful that none of these wonderful, dedicated women lost their lives in the earthquakes. Work starts in earnest tomorrow afternoon.
|A lovely welcome from the MIDSON executive yesterday who came to see me in the guesthouse|